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From drawings by Octavien Dalvimart (d'Alvimart), engraved by F.H. Clark



Mameluke Officer from the NYPL

This plate represents an officer of the corps described in the preceding page. Brought when young, as a slave, into the country, by his courage and address he usually rose through the different gradations of rank, until perhaps, as a Bey, he became its tyrant.
It appears from the latest accounts, that the Porte has endeavoured to restore its authority in Egypt, by reducing the power of the Beys and Mamelukes; for which purpose it has introduced Albanian soldiers. The Pacha sent to Grand Cairo, having in 1811, made use of the latter in surprising and putting to death a large body of the Mamelukes; and subsequently given orders for the destruction of the rest.
It has been observed as a curious fact, that like plants transplanted to an ungenial climate, the Mamelukes who disdained to intermarry with the Egyptian women, have generally failed to propagate their kind, which has been accounted for on the supposition, that the climate was more unfavourable to their wives (who were also from Circassia or Mingrelia) than to themselves ; as such of them as married Egyptian women, were in general as prolific as the natives. It may also be observed, that when a Bey did happen to have children, they did not succeed to the authority of their father; but on the decease of the latter, a new Bey was elected from among the Mamelukes, as these last, from the cause above stated, were obliged to be continually recruited by slaves, drawn from a foreign source. The government of Egypt by them, must in every sense be regarded as one of the most extraordinary military despotisms that ever existed

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